Maybe this has been discussed ad absurdum, but what do people generally think about Facebook being an arbiter of truth?

Right now, Facebook does very little to identify content, only provide it. They faced criticism for allowing fake news to spread on the site, they don't push articles that have retractions, and they just now have added a "contested" flag that's less informative than Wikipedia's.

So the questions are: does Facebook have any responsibility to label/monitor content given that it can provide so much? If so, how? If not, why doesn't this great power (showing you anything you want) come with great responsibility? Finally, if you were to build a site from ground-up, how would you design around the issue of spreading false information?

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Let's try to frame this with as little politics as possible...

You build a medium where people can exchange content. Your original goal is to make money, so you want to make it as popular as possible -- in perfect case, the Schelling point for anyone debating anything.

But you notice that certain messages, optimized for virality, make a disproportional fraction of your content. You don't like this... either because you realize you actually have values beyond "making money"... or because you realize that in long term this could have a negative impac... (read more)

1ChristianKl3yHalf of the US voted for Trump. If Facebook would make a move that would censor a lot of pro-Trump lies it risks losing a significant portion of it's audience. I'm not sure whether the function of verifying the quality of news articles is best fulfilled by a traditional social network. If I would care to solve the problem I would build a browser plugin that provides quality ratings of articles and websites. Users can vote and there's a machine learning algorithm that translates the user votes into a good quality metric.
0lmn3yA better question is why should we trust Facebook to do so honestly, rather than abusing that power to declare lies that benefit Mark Zuckerberg to be "facts". Given the amount of ethics, or rather lack thereof, his actions have shown so far, I see very little reason to trust him.

Open thread, Apr. 10 - Apr. 16, 2017

by MrMind 1 min read11th Apr 2017124 comments


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